*Her name was Isabelle Caro and she was a French fashion model. She had suffered from anorexia nervosa from the age of 13 and was never told that she was killing herself. Instead, her employers encouraged her to continue to starve herself under the supposition that she may not be able to wear clothes or look good in them unless she kept her weight low. At the time of her death, she was 28 years old, weighing only 29 kilos, which is about 64 lbs. For a model, she was short- only 5'4". Before she died she started a campaign in 2007 in Europe, putting billboards up where major fashion shows were taking place, addressing the problem of anorexia and shocked the fashion world with her bold statement by showing her emaciated body and gaunt face.
*While fashion and print modeling may be the strongest encouragement for someone with Caro's inherent problem there is a bigger concern staring society in the face which could become bigger with time if we don't all stop and look around us. While America may have a large percentage of people who are overweight and battling serious illnesses because of it there is a strong percentage of men, women and children like Caro who are silently killing themselves and no one will come forward and tell them they need help. It's an insidious disease because it's so difficult a subject to broach in public or in private. However, no one should sit idly by and watch someone they love slowly but surely starve themselves to death. Anyone who lives with someone with anorexia nervosa has an obligation, through love, to tell that person they need to get help and then make sure they get that help.
*I consider myself a person who survived anorexia nervosa. I didn't do it alone even though I was so young that no one recognized the problem except one person. My mother noticed. She tried to encourage me to eat. She pulled me out of dance classes because she thought I was getting dangerously thin. She took photographs of me and showed me them. I thought I looked fat in the pictures even though I was one of the original lollipop girls. (I can look at those photos now and see what I couldn't at the time.) One day I remember my mother holding out a cookie in front of me and begging me to eat it. Something changed in that moment.
*At the moment I heard my mother imploring me to eat something I realized it was just my desire to control something in my life. I felt powerless in every other aspect of my day to day life, so refusing to eat was my chance to take power back. I believe it is the same for all who suffer from anorexia. The power is an illusion aided by this feeling of euphoria which cannot be explained. Dopamine levels in the blood can become high so instead of eating they run or workout like a maniac just to feel like they can cope with life. Their bodies stop telling them it's hungry. They don't know they're hungry and they have a distorted view of what they look like. If you want to save someone from dying of anorexia tell them they are too thin and if they don't eat they are going to die. If you love them you'll do it.
The Castle Lady
This is the 100th entry on this blog.